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Judge quits over Roth Man Booker decision

19th May 2011

A member of the judging panel for the recent Man Booker International Prize has quit in protest at the decision to award this year's accolade to Philip Roth.

Author and publisher Carmen Callil said she 'does not rate Roth as a writer at all' and argued that she would not have even put the author on the longlist for the GBP 60,000 prize.

The three-person panel also included writer, book dealer and chair of the judges Rick Gekoski and South African novelist Justin Cartwright.

Callil has claimed that her opposition to Roth's inclusion was silenced by the other judges' enthusiasm for the 78-year-old author's body of work.

'He was the only one I didn't admire – all the others were fine. Roth goes to the core of their [Cartwright and Gekoski's] beings. But he certainly doesn't go to the core of mine,' she added.

Gekoksi defended the decision to award Roth the accolade, agreeing that literary prizes are 'generally pretty contentious', but stressing the need to avoid satisfying the judges at the expense of choosing the right author. 

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